A fired employee who threatened to blow up the University of Washington Jewish center Monday afternoon is in custody after sparking a huge response that drew SWAT officers, hostage negotiators and a hazardous materials team to the scene.
Seattle police say the incident began just before 2 p.m. at the Hillel Center at 17th Ave. NE. A spokesman says employees called police after the man threatened to mix toxic chemicals to cause an explosion in the building. Employees evacuated the building when the man reportedly headed for a supply closet.
The SWAT team found the suspect in the building’s basement and arrested him shortly before 3 p.m.
Traffic along 16th Ave. NE and 17th Ave. NE along 50th Street remained closed after the incident as investigators worked to determine whether the suspect mixed chemicals to create a toxic gas.